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What is a provisional patent?

Answer: 

Provisional applications are like temporary placeholders; they allow inventors to file inexpensively without a formal patent claim, oath, or declaration. Once the application is filed, the applicant has one year to investigate the feasibility, marketability, patentability, and potential license interest of the invention before deciding to file a formal patent application. Meanwhile, the term patent pending can be applied to the invention, and the inventor enjoys a calendar edge on other inventors who may file for the same invention.